Southern Soul Food Diet Linked to Higher Risk of Stroke

A diet rich in foods such as fried chicken, bacon and ham increase the chances of suffering from stroke, according to a study presented at the International Stroke Conference in Hawaii.

The study was conducted on more than 20,000 Americans, who included whites as well as African-Americans aged 45 years or older. It attempted to discover the reasons behind the regional and racial differences in the incidence of stroke. The participants included in the study answered questions regarding their diet and overall health. They were followed for a period of over five years, and checked at regular intervals. Any strokes that occurred during this period were recorded.

The researchers found that those participants who ate traditional Southern American diets that comprised of deep-fried food, such as fried chicken and French fries; processed foods such as bacon and ham; and drinks such as sweet teas and sodas, were at a higher risk of suffering from stroke. These foods raise cholesterol levels, increase blood pressure and worsen diabetes, all of which could increase the chances of stroke.

According to the study, people who ate these foods six times a week were at a 41 percent higher risk of suffering from stroke, compared to those who ate these foods just once a month. The risk was around five times higher in African-Americans who consumed these foods as compared to white Americans. On the other hand, the risk was 29 percent lower in those individuals who consumed a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish.

This study may explain why stroke is so common in African-Americans living in the Southern states of America…

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